Heatwave Proofed, Chilled Beet, Orange and Buttermilk Soup from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook

From Animal Farm in Orwell (Vermont), Diane St. Clair serves us some of her recipes in The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013).

With East Coast heatwave still going strong, a cool dish sounds like a perfect first take.

Beet, Orange, and Buttermilk Soup

Beet and orange is a classic combination, but they can be almost cloyingly sweet together. With a bracing dash of butter- milk, you can enjoy the best of this combination but cut some of the sweetness. Sometimes I sprinkle fresh dill on top, for a different flavor profile. It’s a wonderfully refreshing soup on a hot summer night.


3 or 4 medium red beets (about 1 pound), trimmed
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Juice of 2 large oranges
2 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill


1 Place the beets in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring the pan to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer the beets until tender, about 1 hour. Drain and rinse in cold water.

2 Slip off and discard the skins. Slice the beets coarsely directly into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 cup of the buttermilk and process until very smooth.

3 Pour into a large jug or bowl and whisk in the remaining 1cup buttermilk, the orange zest and juice, and the vinegar to your taste. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired when the soup is cold. Sprinkle with the dill before serving.

Makes 4 servings


(* Recipe from The Animal Farm Buttermilk Cookbook by Diane St. Clair -Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013- Photography by Colin Clark- all rights reserved)

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